Once There Was a Snowman . . . in the White House

Once There Was a Snowman . . . in the White House August 14, 2017
Trump is notorious for blocking Twitter followers for small potatoes.
Trump is notorious for blocking Twitter followers for small potatoes.

Among many Trump supporters, it’s become a common to accuse those who disagree with them of being “snowflakes,” that is, people whose egos are so fragile that they’re offended by anything. Granted, I think that many in the campus left are misguided in their drive to avoid speech that may disconcert them, and I believe that a healthy democracy demands robust, vigorous discussions among those who passionately disagree. But before Trumpists level the charge of “snowflake” against their foes on the left, they might want to focus on the biggest snowflakes of them all – those who currently work in the White House.

Case in point: Sebastian Gorka. Currently inhabiting the role of Deputy Assistant to the President, Gorka is notorious for his inability to weather any sort of criticism or challenge. I called into his question his knowledge of terrorism and the Middle East (his “doctorate” was awarded in such a slap-dash manner that it’s probably worth less than a degree from Trump University) and he promptly blocked me on Twitter. But I’m not the only one: Colin Kahl, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East and National Security Adviser to Joe Biden, was also blocked, after he retweeted a Gorka tweet that peddled a laughable conspiracy about the Clintons supporting terrorism.

Basically, Mr. Kahl was just pointing out the absolute absurdity of the fringe-right drivel that Gorka peddles by repeating Gorka’s exact words. But Gorka, a man who constantly lets fly racist dog whistles about the superiority of “Western civilization” (read: white people), wasn’t strong enough to bear this mild critique. He promptly made it so that the snowflake of his fragile ego would never be melted by the “withering” jabs of a man exponentially more credentialed than he’ll ever be.

Beyond myself and Mr. Kahl, countless others have been blocked by Gorka. These haven’t been people engaging in offensive, vulgar speech or threatening the former Breitbart editor. Rather, they’ve been upstanding journalists like the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin:

In fact, Gorka is so notorious for blocking anyone who might say anything that challenges his frighteningly narrow worldview that his penchant for the practice has spawned a hashtag, “#BlockedByGorka,” to catalogue the apparently hundreds of people whose tweets he can’t endure.

You might saw, “Okay, so obviously Gorka is a ‘snowflake.’ But you said ‘snowflakes’ – who are the others?”

I thought you’d never ask.

First, let’s look to “Advisor to the President” Ivanka Trump. Despite the fact that she has literally no qualifications to inhabit a role as a senior White House aide, through the beauties of nepotism she frequents the Oval Office to profit off her father’s position “temper the President’s misguided impulses.” Recently, she couldn’t stand the mild sparring of California Congressman Ted Lieu and blocked him. But perhaps that is only to be expected – after all, she’s only taking after her father.

Yes, that’s right – the biggest “snowflake” of them all is the man who sits behind the Resolute Desk – President Trump himself.

Just like with Gorka, Trump’s need to shelter himself from critical opinion has sparked its own hashtag – #BlockedByTrump. Apparently, he’s blocked hundreds, many of them for simply poking fun of his notorious “covfefe” typo or for noting the incredulity with which Pope Francis looked at him during his visit to the Vatican. This, from a man who constantly trumpets his toughness and who constantly mocks his critics for not being able to stomach his blunt talk.

It’s not just Trump’s Twitter feed that reveals his ensconcement in a winter hellscape wonderland. Just look at how he talks in public. For example, when he gave the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy’s graduation, he waxed Eeyore-ish by lamenting that “[n]o politician in history . . . has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Yeah, it’s so unfair for people to point out and report on the things you yourself said – just go eat some thistle.

And it’s not just Trump’s remarks at the Coast Guard. Anytime something negative is reported about him in the press, instead of just rolling with the punches like any normal person would, Trump betrays his fragile sense of self-worth by going full Hulk-mode on Twitter or in public. See his constant attacks on the press. Or his compulsion to demean a Gold Star family. Or his hateful campaign against an American war hero.

In the LDS Church, there’s a popular song for young children called “Once There Was a Snowman.” In it, kids sing the refrain “in the sun he melted, small, small, small.” Perhaps this little ditty should be repurposed to describe how, in the current White House, the “small, small, small” egos of its inhabitants are flooding the West Wing with a deluge of meltwater.

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